How you can create a beautiful home library on any budget

Carve yourself out a book-lover's haven.
home library

When we’re constantly plugged into technology at work, on public transport and just about every facet in life – sometimes the remedy is a digital detox. If you’ve got a mountain of books at home or you’re simply looking for your next DIY project, building a home library could be your next endeavour. 

What is a home library?

A home library is a small, yet cosy reading haven dedicated to housing your books – but it’s so much more than just shelves and books. A well-thought out space can be an intellectual sanctum and a refuge from the drudgery of everyday life.

How to curate a home library

Curating your home library isn’t something that happens overnight. It also doesn’t mean you need to rush out and buy a tonne of books that you’ll never read just to fill out your shelves. For a start, you can start filling out your bookcases with books you already own. 

You can also have a think about the genres and topics of literature that excite you so that your library is a true reflection of you and your interests. Nonetheless, books can be an expensive hobby so don’t be afraid to trawl through markets, second-hand stores or websites and other places for hidden treasures. 

Markets and second-hand stores are an inexpensive way to curate your book collection.

Choosing the right space 

Where you put your home library can depend on the amount of free space in your home as well as what vibe you’re looking to create. In a perfect world, you’d have an entire room to dedicate to this project. However, if you’re in a pinch for space, that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice a personal library. 

Your library can double as a home office, a living room, a rumpus room or even a dining room. Moreover, your book collection doesn’t necessarily need to dominate the entire space either. Instead of having floor to ceiling shelves installed, you could also opt for wall shelves or desktop shelves.

Deciding upon an aesthetic

Whether you’ve got an entire room, a hybrid space or a nook, when building your home library it’s good to decide upon an aesthetic. Will your new reading space have ultra-modern white shelving and decor? Or, if you’re a purist, perhaps you’re leaning towards a dark academia feel with mahogany shelves and antique decor. 

Whatever your aesthetic is, a home library is the perfect opportunity to infuse your own personal taste and style.

home library

Picking your shelves

Just like deciding on a space, picking shelving is also dependent on space, budget and aesthetics. Traditional shelves are both elegant and practical, whilst floating shelves are both tastefully modern and save a tonne of space.

If it’s in your budget, you may even opt to get shelving built in to perfectly fit the dimensions of your space.

Seating and lighting

Now you’ve carved out the space for your home library and added your shelves, it’s time to think about seating and lighting. Will your home library be filled with natural lighting from a window? Or will you focus on ambient and down lighting? Again, this is entirely dependent on how you choose to customise your space. 

Another important choice is seating. Finding a comfy armchair you can curl up with a book on is imperative. You can make use of furniture that you already own or you can use it as the perfect excuse to track down a new bespoke piece. 

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